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The Vice Presidential Candidates Show Us How It’s Done

Thursday night’s vice presidential debate proved a far livelier affair than that of their bosses, with Vice President Joe Biden and the Republican contender Paul Ryan both bringing plenty of facts, feist and fire to bear on each other. While the presidential debate went handily to Governor Mitt Romney, the winner of the vice-presidential debate is proving a closer call, with Biden’s cocksure bravado and Ryan’s nimble eloquence both coming across as well-informed, well-prepared and well-matched. Some credit must go to ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, whose competent moderation kept things in check—challenging both candidates’ figures and handily keeping everything within the time constraints. She also had both candidates talk on more personal issues than President Barack Obama and Romney did in their debate, asking questions about religion and abortion. Of course, most outlets focused on the candidates’ respective performances—Biden’s dismissive laugh and Ryan’s disdainful smirk. But the debate itself was thrilling even without snark and putdowns, and set a high bar for Obama and Romney’s rematch …

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